Despite age-related biases and fears about technology, WFH staff can overcome risky habits and keep their corporate network cyber-safe.

People belonging to the Gen Z and Gen X categories in South-east Asia (SEA) are less afraid about future technologies (biometrics, smart appliances, robotic devices and deepfakes), while Millennials and Boomers usually have their guards up.

This was the general takeaway of a Kaspersky study conducted last November involving 831 social media users in the region about their level of fear against the current technological trends. Some 62% were afraid of deepfakes, but more so (74%) among Baby Boomers (74%) and less so among the Gen Xers (58%).

This fear of deepfakes is not unfounded. For instance, the CEO of a British energy firm was tricked out of US$243,000 by a deepfake voice of the head of his parent company requesting an “emergency transfer” of funds. The fake was so convincing that the CEO did not think to suspect anything.

The overnight migration to remote-working has also brought new cyber-challenges for IT teams in the region and elsewhere, so Kaspersky has offered tips here on how work-from-home staff can stay cyber-safe, regardless of their age of predisposition to tech fear.

  • Teach teams to become cyber-aware
    Training is crucial to help teams to become cyber-aware. Plan a program of learning, with a mix of online learning, classroom (virtual or real-world) and regular advice by email. You could test whether people can spot a phishing attack by setting up a fake phishing email. 

To start, try this free 30-minute adaptive learning course by Kaspersky and Area9 Lyceum for those who are new to remote-working learn about choosing strong passwords, the importance of endpoint protection and regular software updates.

  • Build a culture of trust
    Unfortunately, in many larger organizations, a culture of transparency is lacking between employees and IT on cyber matters. When people make cyber mistakes, they are either unaware of what they have done or are afraid they will  lose their job, so they may not formally report a data breach incident that ends up damaging the company. You need to build a culture of trust and transparency between employees and the IT team. Open communication is critical.
  • Advise against casual browsing on work devices
    Casual browsing may lead to compromised network security, so make sure employees know this. Encourage them to do personal things on their own devices.
  • Patch employees’ machines
    If your employees’ devices are not completely patched and up-to-date, the chances of hackers finding a vulnerability in your system are increased. Remotely access their machine to patch or call them on the phone to help them do it themselves. Even better, install an automated patching solution.
  • Ask people to change default passwords on home routers
    Most home routers use a default password that hackers can find and then get into the back end of the home network. Few people bother to change it because it is a somewhat-tricky process, but it will drastically improve employees’ cyber-defenses.  Show them how they can do it.